Daily Magic Practices
A daily routine for the practicing mage
Many times I’ve been asked for information concerning how the aspiring magus should go about practicing and sharpening his skills on a daily basis. To resolve this issue in the minds of the novices here at Veritas I have decided to treat of the matter in this essay, and aspire to provide a list and description of daily exercises and rituals that will keep the magician’s mind sharp, his will strong and his energies balanced. If you take what I intend to provide here and make it a daily routine to perform at least most of it then you shall be well on your way in the magical initiation, and I promise you shall begin to see progress in your magical evolution swifter than you had found before by only the sparse practice coupled with some studying.
While it shall all be beneficial, this essay is not intended for the lazy man or, by any means, the armchair magician. This is for the practicing magician who seeks a real progression in his power and control over his environment. Unlike some of my other essays, reading this article without practicing it, due to its lack of magical theory, will do you no good. With the exception of a few complexities, the schedule I am about to provide is my own; I can vouch directly for its benefits. Some of these exercises are of my own creation, some are pulled directly from or based upon the exercises that Franz Bardon used, while some come from the practices of various orders and circles. Regardless of the origin, these practices work and will provide the magician a concise way to keep himself polished and sharp.
The morning is an ideal time for initiative magical practices, particularly those which serve to focus the mind, wake up the body, and get the internal energy flowing. It bares mentioning also that because of the state of the newly awoken brain, morning is also a great time for about fifteen minutes of meditation to set you in the mood to take on the rest of the day.Simple physical exercise is enough after waking up, no need to stretch the line beyond repair.Thought Control:
The first thing you should do upon waking is to stay in your bed for a few more moments, perhaps adjusting yourself into an upright sitting position if you feel like laying down is going to make you fall asleep once more. When you are in a position which is comfortable, but shall not allow for you to sleep again, close your eyes and begin a degree of introspection, monitoring the thoughts of your mind as they come to you. Do not force thoughts into your mind, nor should you try to hinder them; simply watch them as if you were a bystander. In a matter of minutes, due to the fact that you have turned your attention inwards, the number of thoughts running through you mind successively should begin to slow and lessen. After about five minutes, try to focus on only one thought, holding it there in your mind as intently as you can without allowing any additional thoughts to enter and obscure your focus.
At first it is likely you will only be able to accomplish this for a matter of seconds, assuming you have partaken in no previous mental discipline(such as psionic practices). However, in time you will learn to hold just one thought, and eventually remove that thought so as to have your entire mind blank. When you can hold one thought in your mind for five minutes(perhaps set two buzzers to go off, one after five minutes, and the other after ten minutes) you may progress to trying to keep your mind clear the following morning. Once you can do so, you should make this a fifteen minute practice: 5 minutes of monitoring, 5 minutes of a single thought, 5 minutes of no thoughts. In time you will learn to clear your mind instantly of all thoughts, but even when you can you should still do the aforementioned every morning for about ten minutes. Introspection should be rather done before going to sleep, the best if it was accounting just the one day. Long term introspections are good in the beginning or once a month as a sanity practice. Thought control can be done any time, but I rather suggest not to do so right after waking up, simple throat singing is a better way how to wake up.Stretching:
It is important to follow up the previous exercise with a daily set of stretches for reasons which, on the surface, most should know, and which in a deeper sense a qigong student will understand. Hermetically speaking, suffice it to say that the body is your own personal Holy Temple, containing within it the individual spark of divinity; keep your temple clean. Stretching could be likened to “polishing the outside of the temple.” Once more, it is important to stretch every morning for a good five to ten minutes(preferably ten) after waking and performing the Thought Control exercise. I shall not provide a stretching program, as they are easy to access or to create on your own. Do not stretch for over twenty minutes in one sitting.Whether you choose stretching, weight-lifting or a cardio exercise (you can actually switch between these practices occassionally), the time needed depends solely on your needs. Cardio exercise itself make you more and more accustomed to itself, forcing you to need more and more time for the exercise to have any effect. If you want to lose weight, it is best to do the morning exercise before eating anything.Divine Intervention:
After stretching, turn your body so as to face the rising sun* and seat yourself into seiza, which for those of you unfamiliar with the term basically requires sitting on your knees with your knees themselves about two fists apart in width from one another, and the large toes of your feet touching behind you, with which the heels of your feet should be just behind your butt. This position may hurt a little at first, but it compliments the previous stretches and has internal values which the eastern mystic will be familiar with. Seiza is a normal Japanese sitting position, it is used for meditation just like for eating. There are also many variations, from both feet fully crossing to crossing just toes, there are also variations where feet are wide apart and no crossing occurs).
In terms of practice it is just a way how to sit, if you prefer a chair, then use a chair.
Facing the sun, stretch both your arms out to your sides in a gesture of reception, both palms facing forward(this would be the kneeling variant of the Position of the Portal Opener, for those of you familiar with hermetic positions) and proclaim in your mind or aloud “I shall receive gratefully anything good which the universe may send my way today, and call forth the energies of my soul to stir with my own divinity.”Any affirmation can be used, including as simple as "Today is a good day".
Bring your arms back to your sides and lay your hands in your lap, meditating for a few moments and reflecting on your own karma(what good and bad things you’ve done lately that may effect your present day). With time and practice the magician will come to feel a rush of warmth after uttering the aforementioned proclamation, and in this way he shall judge that the universe shall work with him in his operations that day. If after a few months of performing this some parallel feeling is not present, then you should further evaluate your own karma, or examine weaknesses in other parts of your practice.Or, as they say, problem is on your side :-P
If you enjoy meditating in the morning, then this point would be the ideal time before your day truly gets going. The meditation should serve to align your energies for the day.
*Facing the location of the rising sun, which is East, is a tradition and not a requirement. I have performed this exercise facing all directions with efficiency, though personally enjoy sticking to tradition by my own nature, as I believe facing the sun is a good representation of the inner divinity and magical mechanisms of the universe. Logically, it also represents the beginning of the day.The Qabalistic Cross of Light:
This is arguably one of the most used rituals of the hermetic and chaote, and serves its purpose well in connecting you to your environment and cleansing imbalanced energies within yourself so as to make the aforementioned alignment possible. There are many variations of this ritual, and truly I have probably tried most of them and found this to make the most sense in correspondence to the Otz Chiim(diagram of the Tree of Life), which I shall describe for you in good detail:
Stand facing the east, arms at your side, and take a few moments for controlled and relaxed breathing. After about seven long, controlled breaths, form in your dominant hand the Sign of Benediction. For those of you who do not know, the Sign of Benediction is formed by extending the index and middle fingers of the dominant hand, curling in the other two fingers, and covering those two with your thumb. Somewhat like the “peace” sign without the space between the two extended fingers.
Bring your right hand with the Sign of Benediction over your head and vibrate “Ateh(Ah-tay), trying not to feel the vibration in your throat, but instead focusing on feeling it in the coronal sphere above the head itself. When you finish the vibration(which means you’ve almost run out of breath) bring your dominant hand to your abdomen, then turning it upside down and thrusting it straight towards the ground between your feet. Upon the end of the thrust, vibrate “Malkuth(Mal-kooth), with the “al” sounding like the “al” in “pal.” Once more, do not try to feel the vibration in your throat, but instead focus it between your feet. When done, visualize a shaft of light descending down from above your head and straight into the earth, passing vertically thought your center, and extending on into the infinite universe on either side. Bring your hand across and up to your right shoulder, fingers pointing upwards, and vibrate “Ve Geburah(vay gay-boo-rah), one more feeling the vibration in the area your hand is over. Bring your hand across to your left side and vibrate “Ve Gedulah(vay gay-doo-lah). When done, visualize a shaft of light perpendicular to the previous one passing horizontally through both shoulder, extending infinitely into the universe on either side; you become the meeting the point of two infinite beams. Bring both your hands together over the center of your chest and say “Le olam(lay Oh-lahm), Amen.” Thus concludes the Qabalistic Cross of Light.
The meaning of the words are as follows:
Ateh – Thou art
Malkuth – The Kingdom
Ve Geburah- The power
Ve Gedulah – The Glory
Le Olam – Now and Forever.
Typically the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is the follow up to the QCL, but that does not mean that the QCL can not be worked independent of the LBRP, as I perform it without the attachment of the LBRP quite often. None the less, it compliments the ritual quite well.The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram:
Begin the LBRP with the QCL, so as to establish a magical alignment with your surroundings. Upon completion you should be facing the east. Using either a dagger, a wand, the sign of benediction, or your thumb reach out and trace the banishing pentagram of air, visualizing that you are tracing it into the very fabric of the universe as a blue pentagram, which you are carving with a blue beam of light directed by the chosen mechanism. The pentagram should be drawn starting at the far left point, moving over to the right points, and continuing from there until you come full-circle to the far left point again. When you have completed the pentagram, inhale deeply and visualize that you are inhaling the word “YHVH(Yod-he-vau-he), letting it permeate your being. When you have finished inhaling, step six inches out with your right foot and throw both your arms forward, vibrating the name YHVH and letting its essence flow into the engraved pentagram, thus charging it appropriately. Turn 90 degrees to your right so as to face the south, and there trace the banishing pentagram of fire, charging it as previously mentioned, though this time with the name “Adonai.” Turn 90 degrees more so as to face west and draw the lesser banishing pentagram of water, charging it with the name “EHIEH(Eh-hee-yeh).” Turn to the North and draw the lesser banishing pentagram of earth and charge it with the name “AGLA(Ah-goo-lah). Turn once more to the east, by which time you shall have completed a full circle. The visualization should be that on each cardinal direction you have a flaming blue pentagram, each linked to the other with a blue cord of energy. Open up your arms, making the Position of the Opener, and say “Before me Raphael, behind me Gabriel. At my right Michael, and at my left Uriel.” Try to actually feel the presence of these four being on either side of you in their corresponding elemental quadrant. Go on to say “For about me shines the pentagram,” then bring your arms in and cross them over your chest and continue with “and within me flames the six-rayed star.” Feel the atmosphere around you crystallizing to your being and molding to your shape as a delicate, easily breakable unit. Quickly and aggressively throw your arms down to your sides, “shattering” that atmosphere and expelling it outwards in all four directions. At that point the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is complete. Method of pentagram drawing here is called the "A method". There are many other methods for this, major ones are described here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/234401632/Condensed-Magick-101, from page 12 on.
It would be just good to say that A method has many pitfalls (e.g. Water banishing equals to Air invocation, etc), there are methods about how to solve this problem in the link above.
Regarding the LBRP, most commonly used version does not call archangels, but simply performs QCoL again, and uses Earth banishing pentagram as the only pentagram used (because as we know, Earth limits all other elements).
Now, despite the length of that part of the essay, all of those exercises together will only take 45 minutes or so, depending on how slowly you practice the first three exercises. Though I advise it, you do not need to perform all of the aforementioned every morning if you do not have the time. It is quite alright to divide them up, doing a particular set every other day. The amount of concentration you put into each of these will ultimately determine the speed and quality of your progression.
It will perhaps do to make a note concerning the LBRP and QCL: It is not unknown to me that some people do not like any form of ritualism. Keep in mind that those two have been practiced for over two thousand years in one form or another, and time has refined and perfected their efficiency. Therein, to dismiss their use simply because of some blind distaste for ritual seems to me only a flamboyant act of ignorance towards something which your own stubbornness alone dismisses as useless. If you can stomach those two, you will in time come to reap their benefits, at which point you may decide to re-evaluate some of your views on the traditional rituals of magic. If you still refuse to use them, then you are well off regardless, as they are by NO means a necessity to the daily routine of the magician, and not practicing them shall have no negative effect on your growth.Escape from dogmatism isn't stupid or ignorant, as the author here is trying to say, without freedom, experience and creativity, there would be no QCoL and LBPR to begin with.Throughout the Day
The following exercises need not be practiced at any one time during the day to receive their maximum benefits. In fact, the LBRP and the QCL could have also fallen into this category, though I have found it useful to practice those two every morning and night. Perform the following exercises whenever you have the time throughout the course of the day.Sharpening Visualization:
Sit down at a table and lay before you a series of three simple items, such as a match, a pencil and a salt shaker. For about two minutes stare intently at one of those three items, letting no other thoughts enter into your mind. Get to know the object’s shape well, then close your eyes and against the blackness of your eyelids try to recreate the image in your mind. Spend a moment of this image so as to make an exact, perfect replica of the actual item in your mind. Hold this item in your mind’s eye for about four or five minutes with no other thoughts entering therein. When done, open your eyes and try to visualize the image in the actual air in front of you, suspended a few feet in front of you. Visualize intently until you can essentially see it actually there in your mind with your eyes open. After you hold that visualization for a few moments, move on to visualizing two objects at once in the mind and with the eyes open, then move on to three objects at once. Though at first you will only be able to visualize one item at a time well, you will eventually be able to sustain the image of all three with your eyes open or closed. It is much better to start training the visualization with simple geometric shapes (like a white triangle, black circle, etc), always keep one object for one session, not more. You can also use trataka exercise.Daily Operation:
You should make it a point every day to work some type of magical operation. Of all your exercises, keeping up with a routine set of operations will sharpen the power of your magic the most. Now this does not have to be something grand involving an actual change in an aspect of your ongoing life; simply calling the wind or trying to put out the flame of a candle will do. Should you choose to actually enact an operation to change an aspect of your life, ensure that you put the utmost focus into it. If you choose to practice with some elemental manipulation a little(which I highly advise regardless of other plans), try to spend about 30 minutes doing so. If your practicing with the wind, then practice calling the wind, halting it, and causing it to switch directions repeatedly in accordance to your will, and only to your will. If you want to play with fire, light a candle and practice swaying it at first from one side to the next, then having it grow taller and smaller. Finally, practice shrinking the flame until it extinguishes. If you practice hard, then after a few weeks you may even be able to relight the flame after extinguishing it.
Now I hate to say this, and several of you and equally hate hearing it, but a full-blown ritual incorporated into the day for your magical operation will benefit you more in the process of total cultivation. Why? The mind becomes more romanticized with the operation, therein sharpening and concentrating much more. Your body, with the aid of the magical weapons, becomes more aligned with the energies you are working with, as opposed to just your mind becoming aligned with those energies. Indeed, your entire being becomes a part of the operation you are trying to enact. Sure, a direct approach can substitute all the aforementioned, but it still rarely has the feeling of satisfaction after completing a full ritual. However, I understand that most my readers do not have access to ritual items, and therein compromise shall be done where needed; simply an observation of mine.
Note that this also includes the practice of any psychic faculties you are trying to develop, such as remote viewing, psychometry, etc.Meditation:
If you did not get in your meditation in the morning, try to find some time shortly after eating lunch to squeeze some form of it in. If you are at work, then perhaps take a ten minute and spend some time in a state of inconspicuous introspection and relaxation. If your daily operation for that particular day will require more time and energy, then I advise making the time for meditation before you do the operation. I will not provide a particular method of meditation, as rarely is any one meditation better than another. However, different meditations do different things for the person, and I ask that you familiarize yourself with an arsenal of different meditations so as to adjust accordingly to the need, should one arise.Do not meditate right after eating, digestive problems could arrive, not speaking about digestion slows down other bodily processes (including thinking), making meditation seems simple but ineffective.Studies:
It is imperative that you set aside some time each day for the progression of your own intelligence in the path of magic which you have chosen to tread. I personally advise dedicating a good hour each day to reading a little more about magic theory and application, taking about ten minutes at the end of the hour to evaluate how you may apply what you have learned that day in your immediate future, eventually incorporating it into your practices somehow, should the nature of the content make such possible.Worship and Contemplation:
If you are religious, you should make a point to set aside a part of the day, each day, to acknowledge and worship your individual godhead, should that be what your religion asks of you. The reason for this is a matter of magical theory, which I mentioned at the beginning would not be covered in this essay; suffice it to say that it has beneficial results in your spiritual workings. After worshipping your deity, perhaps praying for a few minutes as well, spend a proportional amount of time contemplating the nature of the deity you are acknowledging, trying to reconcile its existence within your own mind. I have always believed that should you choose to worship an entity you should not do so blindly, but instead actually try hard to rationally prove to yourself that such an entity not only exists, but contains within its being all virtues you have associated with it. Your god/dess should be very real to you, and not because you’ve simply been told to think such.
If you are a part of a belief system that is not necessarily religious(such as Buddhism or Daoism), then spend time contemplating the nature of your system’s beliefs, why you believe them, and what in life has suggested that those beliefs are the correct ones for your own spiritual evolution.In other words: If you believe in God, try hard to reinforce that belief and if you don't believe, you should think about yourself and why you are so ignorant as not to believe in GodBefore Sleep
You should close your day in essentially the same way you opened it, with the exception of the Divine Intervention exercise. Watch and control your thoughts, do a little meditation, and follow through the QCL and LBRP. When you’ve finished that set, I also recommend getting in a little shielding practice by erecting a protective circle around your bed. Be sure that the circle protects the entirety of the bed, being at least a foot away from the bed itself at any given point. You may also want to practice setting up wards at various points in the house, particularly if you’re prone to being annoyed by various entities or energy-based disturbances at night. That would mean that you are doing LBPR wrong, because it's portion about banishing somehow doesn't banish.Lucid Dreaming:
As the completion of the daily routines, you should try to avail yourself of a lucid dream that night, as opposed to a normal one. This is best done by thinking intently about a particular object, saying to yourself sternly “I will see this in my dream.” Do this a number of times, repeating the aforementioned statement to yourself over and over appropriately. Keep the object in the back of your mind when you close your eyes to sleep, and if you are successful, the object should be in your thoughts the instant you drift into actual sleep. If that is accomplished, then by the nature of sleep mechanics you will see that object sometime throughout the course of your many dreams that night. When you do, a part of your mind will instantly remember what you did before you went to sleep that night, and it shall then be clear to your mind that you are in a dream. At that point, congratulations; you’re lucid dreaming. This is a great step-up to astral projection or remote viewing, should you choose to take up the opportunity.Conclusion
This should serve its purpose as a basic outline for your daily practices in the path of magic. It is merely a rough template, and I strongly advise changing it in accordance to your personal preferences, available time, and path of magic which you follow, adding to it what you will in accordance to what the latter suggests. Though I have written this essay for the aspiring magus, I also tried to write it in a manner that would prove useful in application to psychics and eastern mystics as well. Therein, it should serve as a pretty well-rounded guide to magical/psychic development in your path.
On a last note, it would not be a bad idea to devote at least one free day every two or three weeks to your metaphysical practices entirely. Spend an entire day practicing and studying every now and then, and I promise that you shall get much done. These days can be seen as the parallel of “burnouts” in weight training, in which you push your mental limits of concentration, and the ethereal self’s limits of energy interaction, to further yourself later on. Actually a burnout is when you overdo it, don't overdo it